Author(s): Paul Strangio
The prime ministership remains the main prize in Australian politics, but it is a precarious one. Leadership turnover in recent years has seen more prime ministers rise and fall than at any time since the decade after federation. What explains this volatility? The Pivot of Power is the second volume in a unique blend of collective biography and institutional history that shows the skills, limitations and passions of incumbents are only part of the story. The ways in which prime ministers thrive and fail are influenced by the resources at their command, the evolving nature of the parties they lead, the daunting public expectations they face, and the challenges history throws at them. Changes in these areas are now more destabilising than ever. After decades of strong prime-ministerial leadership, the office has rarely seemed quite so confounding as it does for its contemporary holders but The Pivot of Power suggests it does not have to be this way.
James Walter is Professor of Politics and Paul Strangio is Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. Paul 't Hart is Professor of Public Administration, Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Together they wrote the first volume, Settling the Office- The Australian Prime Ministership from Federation to Reconstruction in 2016.